Sidelined USA
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Insightful articles for helping permanently-sidelined athletes find a meaningful way forward.

Becoming Sidelined: When Depression Turns to Despair

Being forced to give up your sport due to health reasons can be an extremely discouraging situation. The reality for sidelined athletes is that discouragement can lead to depression and for some, depression can lead to despair. You may be struggling to find your way forward without your sport and feel hopeless or lost. You may be hurting silently and feel like nobody understands. 

It is important for you to know you are not alone. Sidelined USA is made up of a team of athletes, former athletes, professionals, and community members who are all committed to helping you find a way forward that is meaningful to you. 

While we at Sidelined USA are not mental health professionals, we want to help you find the support you need in your struggle with suicidal thoughts. Continue reading to learn what experts from the Mayo Clinic have to say on suicidal thoughts: 

The following is taken directly from Mayo Clinic's page on suicide and suicidal thoughts: 

For immediate help

If you think you may attempt suicide, get help now:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
  • Call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) anytime of day.

When to see a doctor

If you're feeling suicidal, but you aren't immediately thinking of hurting yourself:

  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one — even though it may be hard to talk about your feelings
  • Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone in your faith community
  • Call a suicide hotline [1-800-273-8255]
  • Make an appointment with your doctor, other health care provider or a mental health professional

Suicidal thinking doesn't get better on its own — so get help.

To help keep yourself from feeling suicidal

Get the treatment you need.

If you don't treat the underlying cause, your suicidal thoughts are likely to return. You may feel embarrassed to seek treatment for mental health problems, but getting the right treatment for depression, substance misuse or another underlying problem will make you feel better about life — and help keep you safe.

Establish your support network.

It may be hard to talk about suicidal feelings, and your friends and family may not fully understand why you feel the way you do. Reach out anyway, and make sure the people who care about you know what's going on and are there when you need them. You may also want to get help from your place of worship, support groups or other community resources. Feeling connected and supported can help reduce suicide risk.

Remember, suicidal feelings are temporary.

If you feel hopeless or that life's not worth living anymore, remember that treatment can help you regain your perspective — and life will get better. Take one step at a time and don't act impulsively.

The support you need is right at your finger-tips

If you are suffering with hopelessness, please find the courage to speak up and reach out for help. Suffering in silence does not end well. Pick up your phone and get the support you need. Please don't delay any longer. 

An additional resource for you:

If you are in any type of crisis and feel the need to talk anything out, you can text 741-741 from anywhere in the United States. You will be put in touch with a trained crisis counselor.  

You are not alone. 

There is a meaningful way forward. 

The Sidelined team is here to support you in your journey. You can reach out to us HERE. Important note: we are not trained counselors and we do not offer crisis support so please reach out to us after you have sought professional help. Sidelined's support is in no way a substitute for help from trained professionals. That being said, we want to be part of your support network. Please reach out. 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Neither Sidelined USA nor its affiliates provide clinical or medical care of any kind via their relationship with Sidelined. At no time should a user have an expectation of clinical care or professional services offered or rendered.